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Kiwis shop smart…with their mobiles

11 Apr 2013

When it comes to mobile shopping and making payments from their mobile, Kiwis are amongst the best in the world.

Shopping on the smartphone, as the industry likes to call it, is becoming increasingly popular with New Zealanders who find it fits conveniently into their lifestyle.

And why wouldn't it? Smartphone shopping is essentially providing the ability for consumers to make purchases when and wherever they want to - 24/7 if they care to.

According to MasterCard’s latest Online Shopping Behaviour Study, with 72% of respondents now having mobile internet access, almost one-in-five Kiwis are now using their phones to shop online, which is on par with our Australian counterparts across the ditch.

Although still in its infancy, mobile shopping is gaining acceptance fast with 18.2% of respondents having made a purchase via their phones in the last three months, compared to only 8.0% the previous year.

MasterCard says the most popular shopping purchases included mobile apps (26%), daily deal coupons (23%), and music downloads (18%) - i.e. Angry Birds, Grab One and Beyonce.

Kiwi consumers are also proving they’re savvy consumers elsewhere, using their mobiles to compare prices between physical and online stores.

More than half (54%) of respondents have conducted price comparisons, with 48% of respondents also stating that they have conducted research online on a product prior to making a purchase in-store.

“New Zealanders are well known for being financially savvy," says Albert Naffah, country manager, MasterCard New Zealand.

"As more retailers offer both in-store and online shopping experiences, consumers are making use of their smartphones to conduct price comparisons and ensure they are getting the best deal.

“Although New Zealand is a mature market when it comes to online shopping, we’re still far from mobile purchasing being the norm.

"However, as smartphone penetration continues to increase, purchasing via mobile will continue to grow exponentially – especially as more retailers also invest in sites that are specifically optimised for mobile.”

The research also shows New Zealanders are becoming more aware of different types of purchasing related technology, and that there is a growing appetite amongst Kiwis to try these as they become available.

Mobile banking apps being the technology most Kiwis are likely to try (71%), with 54% likely to adopt mobile NFC technology, and 49% open to trying digital wallet technology.

“Whilst we are seeing a real openness to new technology," Naffah says.

"It’s important to note that 88% of Kiwis cite security as their key consideration when it comes to shopping online.

"So the ability to provide consumers with a secure and convenient payment facility actually becomes a key component for retailers looking to drive purchases via the online channel.

"Without the capability to demonstrate to consumers that their payments are secure, retailers can offer the best products at the best prices and still not reach optimal sales.

“Kiwis are known as being early adopters of technology and we expect their use to continue to grow."

For more on this topic check out the May issue of NetGuide, where MasterCard NZ will talk in more detail about the rise of online shopping and the surge in smartphone payments among Kiwis.

Do you smartphone shop? Why? Tell us your habits below